Bauer Center for Business Ethics

Faculty Resources

Introduction

The Bauer Center for Business Ethics (BCBE) has developed instructional resources to assist faculty in incorporating the teaching of business ethics into their current courses.

Bauer faculty has continuous access to this searchable repository. All materials found on this password-protected website may be used only by Bauer faculty and PhD students.

These resources include:

  1. Instructional materials created by UH faculty, protected under copyright, available for use only by Bauer faculty.
  2. Third party resources and articles for which special permission has been granted to UH solely for use by Bauer faculty.
  3. Internet links to UH library’s card catalog for various books and newspapers, and other electronic resources available through the UH libraries for students and faculty (please read the Terms of Use Statement
  4. Links to third party websites that house various articles and commentary, which are accessible to the general public.

BCBE Disclaimer on (3) & (4): The content available through these services is on an “as-is”, “as available” basis. The BCBE expressly disclaims any ownership of the content therein.

To access these materials, go to http://www.bauer.uh.edu/staff

  • Click on “Teaching Resources” on the menu on the left
  • Click on “Business Ethics”
  • Enter the same username and password that you use to log into your work desktop, but without the “RICSNT\”
    Example: Type “username” instead of “RICSNT\username”

Note: If you do not have a Bauer Net Account (or Active Directory Account), please contact the Bauer IT Support at (713) 743-4871 or by e-mail ITSupport@bauer.uh.edu.

Teaching Resources

The following describes the resources available to faculty:

Ethics Education in Business Schools - Report of the Ethics Education Task Force to AACSB International's Board of Directors

This 22-page document describes the AACSB's position on ethics education in business schools. Topics include

  1. Responsibility of business in society
  2. Ethical leadership
  3. Ethical decision-making
  4. Corporate governance

The document also contains separate chapters on

  1. Suggested questions about ethics education for business leaders
  2. current and past standards related to ethics.

This provides a great backdrop to Bauer's initiatives to incorporating the study of business ethics throughout the curriculum.

"Foundational Concepts for Teaching Business Ethics"

This 15-page article, written by O.C. Ferrell (Bill Daniels Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics, University of Wyoming and Linda Ferrell (Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Wyoming), discusses

  1. The challenges and approaches to teaching business ethics
  2. How stakeholders define business ethics issues
  3. A suggested framework for understanding organizational ethical decision making.

The authors recommend introducing the study of business ethics as a foundational course, with follow-up ethics discussions throughout the curriculum. The benefit of this approach is that once a foundation in business ethics is provided, students may better grasp concepts of business ethics specific to each area of business. Additionally, the burden of separate faculty to provide a foundation is diminished.

However, out of the desire to combine the study of law and ethics, Bauer takes a slightly different approach by requiring GENB 4350: Business Law and Ethics in students' junior or senior year of studies. We believe that it is critical for students to be exposed to the topic of business ethics earlier in their studies. Therefore, students also receive a brief introduction to the study of business ethics to ethics earlier in their program through GENB 3302 Connecting Bauer to Business, mandatory for all pre-business majors. After students have completed GENB 3302, students are exposed to the study of business ethics throughout their studies so that they may learn to identify the different types of ethical dilemmas present in a wide variety of business areas. To help students early in their studies learn how to analyze ethical dilemmas, the BCBE has provided links to online business ethics readings. Additionally, a Student Handout on analyzing business ethics cases is provided to faculty to handout if a case is used in the course.

Our goal is that by the time students enroll in GENB 4350 Business Law and Ethics, they have had some exposure to the different types of ethical dilemmas raised in each of the areas of business. GENB 4350 will allow students to refine their ethical reasoning skills by studying the ethical dilemmas commonly presented in the areas of corporate governance and legal transactions such as contracting, and property sales, for example.

Readings on Business Ethics

Here, many articles relevant to business ethics exist (organized by topic and disciplines), including a long list of suggested readings on "analyzing ethical dilemmas." Available as web links, faculty who wish to assign any of the readings to students may simply copy these URLs. All of these readings are also available to students from the BCBE Home Page "Student Resources".

Another set of relevant journal articles and book chapters listed here are available through the UH library system. You can take advantage of the library's e-reserve service to assign these to your students. Directions on activating your account and requesting e-reserve is available here.

Cases

The BCBE offers a collection of ethics cases (most with teaching notes) that have been developed by UH, as well as cases developed externally. The cases are organized according to discipline. If a case applies to several disciplines, it will show up under all applicable disciplines.

The teaching notes were created using the model for analyzing ethical dilemmas presented in "Student Handout - Case Analysis Hints". Please note that many different and appropriate methods exist to analyze these cases. The method presented in the teaching notes is simply one way of analyzing the cases.

Additionally, if a case is assigned, it may be helpful to require students to read "Student Handout - Case Analysis Hints" available as PDF file and Word document.

External Links to On-Line Activities for Students

Other useful tools for teaching business ethics are the free interactive websites that ask students questions (and provide answers) to cases involving ethical dilemmas.

Additionally, there is a fun website called B-Reality in which students must sign up for a small fee to participate in a game that challenges them to answer questions in a business environment simulation. This website allows students to make decisions about certain situations and provides real-life consequences to those choices. The game carries students through the end by changing the type of questions, based on a student's prior answers. The student can be evaluated at the end by reviewing items like - how often the student ended up in jail; whether the student's marriage ended in divorce; whether the student was harmed financially or lost his/her job, etc. These can be fun ways to introduce the topic of business ethics in a light-hearted manner that still convey real-life consequences to actions in the business world.

Videos

The BCBE offers access to two types of videos for use in the classroom - videos freely accessible to all via the internet, and videos on reserve in hard copy that can be obtained from the BCBE.

The videos range from 15 minutes to 1 ½ hours. Topics vary from an introduction to business ethics (why it is important to study business ethics, what is business ethics, etc); case vignettes with questions; a Hollywood-type movie divided into sections that contain questions/discussion opportunities; and short clips on Enron and other similar items.

Textbook List

A list of textbooks containing an ethics component for most disciplines is provided (including the ISBN and publisher contact information).

Additional Resources

Faculty who have had experience studying or teaching business ethics are highly encouraged to share their own resources with the rest of Bauer faculty. If you have resources that you would like to share with faculty, please send them to Lori Whisenant (lwhisenant@uh.edu).